Simply Salads

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"It is just sensible."exclaimed my friend. She was referring to the large plates sitting in front of us loaded with everything imaginable. As though, it was sensible ingesting a mountain of lettuces, sliced boiled eggs, chunks of ham, shredded cheeses, tomatoes,avocado's and bacon rinds smothered in a creamy salad dressing. To another friend, a salad and a soup was a lunch of supreme importance. Somehow, salads were a part of our meals and also our lives. From the simple varations of salad greens tossed with a classic vinaigrette to the more complex salad ingredients served with various blended or whisked salad dressings, salads are a compliment to any meal.

A salad meal begins with a meatless vegetable soup that is filled with chunks of vegetables and topped with some shredded parmesan cheese.

Meatless Vegetable Soup

(Serves 4 bowls or 6 cups)

?-cup celery, chopped
?-cup onion, chopped
1-large Russet potato, cut into one-inch chunks
2-whole carrots, sliced thin
1-cup cabbage, sliced
?-cup fresh or frozen corn
1-large can stewed tomatoes, chopped
?-cup fresh or frozen English peas
4-cans chicken broth
2-cans of water
?-cup fresh parsley, chopped
?-cup fresh or frozen green beans
3-cloves garlic, sliced
1-Tlb. olive oil
?-tsp. salt and cracked black pepper
1-Tlb. parmesan cheese(per bowl)
1-tsp. parmesan cheese (per cup)

Directions: In the one tablespoon olive oil, saut? the onion and the garlic until they are wilted. In a soup pot or a dutch oven add all of the raw vegetables plus the saut?ed onions and the garlic. Cover the vegetables with the chicken broth and the water. Season with the salt and the pepper. Simmer the soup on medium low for one hour or until the vegetables are tender. Serve in individual bowls or cups and sprinkle the top of the soup with the parmesan cheese. Serve the soup with a tossed green salad of: mixed green lettuces, roma tomatoes, radishes and green onions. Salad dressing: In a bowl combine 2-Tlbs rice wine vinegar, 1-Tlb sugar, 3 or 4 drops hot sauce, and 2-Tlbs. mayonnaise.

Nothing is better than a bowl of fresh salad greens enhanced with a classic vinaigrette.

Simply Green Salad

1-head bib lettuce

2-heads red tip lettuce
2-heads butter lettuce
2-green onions, sliced
3-Tlbs olive oil
2-Tlbs red wine vinegar
1-tsp.dry yellow mustard
?-tsp sea salt
?-tsp cracked black pepper

Directions: Rub a salad bowl with a clove of garlic. Whisk the three tablespoons of olive oil, the two tablespoons of red wine vinegar and the one teaspoon of dry yellow mustard until they are well combined. Add the salad greens and toss until the salad greens are well coated with the vinaigrette. Serve with a slice of French bread and some butter.

The combination of bacon and avocado that has been combined with shredded bib lettuce and a blended blue cheese dressing has fewer calories than a sandwich made with the same ingredients.

Bacon And Avocado Salad
(Serves 4)

1-head bib lettuce, shredded
1-medium tomato, chopped
?-cup bacon, cooked and cut into pieces
1-medium avocado, chopped
2-green onions, chopped

Blended Blue Cheese Dressing (Makes 2 cups)

?-cup sugar
1-Tlb. fresh lemon juice
1-tsp. yellow mustard
2-cups canola oil
1-medium chunk blue cheese

Directions: Add the first four ingredients and set the blender on low. After they are combined, slowly add the canola oil. When it is of a mayonnaise consistency, cut the medium chunk of blue cheese into pieces and pulse the blender for a few seconds until the blue cheese is incorporated into the salad dressing.

The dessert for a healthful salad meal is a chocolate cake so rich and dense that it totally indulges all of the senses. The recipe below is from The Texas Cookbook and it is over a hundred years old.

Texas Cake

2-cups flour
2-cups sugar
?-cup shortening
?-cup butter or margarine
4-Tlbs. cocoa
?-cup water
?-cup buttermilk
2-eggs, slightly beaten
1-tsp. salt
1-tsp. baking powder
1-tsp. cinnamon
1-tsp vanilla

Directions: Sift the flour, sugar, salt, baking powder and the cinnamon. In a saucepan,combine the shortening, water and the cocoa slowly bringing the ingredients to a boil.Remove the ingredients from the heat and add the eggs, the buttermilk, and the vanilla stirring until they are well combined. Pour the mixture into the dry ingredients and combine them. Flour and grease a nine-to-thirteen inch cake pan. Evenly coat the greased cake pan with the cake ingredients. Bake at 350 degrees for thirty-five minutes.

?-cup butter or margarine
4-Tlbs. cocoa
3-1/2-cups of powdered sugar
1-tsp vanilla
?-cups pecans

Directions: In a medium saucepan combine the butter, cocoa and the milk slowly bringing the ingredients to a boil. Remove from heat. Add the powdered sugar mixing well. Stir in the vanilla and add the pecans. Frost the cake while it is still hot for a fudge texture. Serve slices of cake with a dip of homemade vanilla ice cream.

Cooking since the age of fifteen, the author had always enjoyed making salads.

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